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Mavis Staples, Aaron Neville and The Blind Boys of Alabama NZ Tour

Mavis Staples, Aaron Neville and The Blind Boys of Alabama NZ Tour

Thursday 27th January, 2011 9:05AM

A trio of American music icons are heading our way this April for a three date NZ tour, the include soul and gospel songstress Mavis Staple, the owner of one of the most recognisable voices in R&B, Aaron Neville and Grammy winning gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Thursday 28th April – Auckland – Civic Theatre
Friday 29th April – Wellington – St James
Saturday 30th April– Christchurch – Town Hall

Full PR and ticketing details below but first some tracks/videos....

Mavis Staples performing an acoustic version of the title song from her new album Your Are Not Alone with album collaborator Jeff Tweedy from Wilco.

And here is a live video from the 70s of Mavis performing with her family as The Staple Singers on Soul Train.

Aaron Neville's first hit - "Tell It Like It Is" - original 1966 version (track only).

The Blind Boys of Alabama "I Shall Walk No Walk Alone" (featured in Lost and The Wire)- song only:

Press Release:


Thursday 28th April – Auckland – Civic Theatre – tickets from
Friday 29th April – Wellington – St James – tickets from
Saturday 30th April– Christchurch – Town Hall – tickets from

Pre sales start Tues 1st Feb 9am from the above ticketing outlets. Sign up at for password and pre sale info. General public on sale starts Thurs 3rd Feb 9am.

Mavis Staples, Aaron Neville and the Blind Boys of Alabama - three legendary pillars of American music – will join forces for a roof-raising package of gospel and soul, for concerts in Auckland and Wellington. With three headliners sharing the bill, this promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime, soul-shaking, church-wreckin’ musical event!

MAVIS STAPLES has been one of the outstanding voices of soul and gospel music for more than five decades. Starting out in Chicago with family band The Staple Singers (founded by Mavis’s father, guitarist and singer Robebuck ‘Pops’ Staples) she was noted in her teens for her intense, impassioned singing style. The Staples Singers became closely associated with the civil rights movement through the group’s friendship with the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and recordings of protest songs by the likes of Bob Dylan. By the early 70s they had graduated from the gospel circuit to become international hitmakers with a string of socially conscious R&B songs. Mavis went on to a solo career with stirring live performances and acclaimed recordings. From the late 80s she worked with Prince, making several records for his Paisley Park label. Her more recent albums have included We’ll Never Turn Back: a set of civil rights songs produced by Ry Cooder, and 2010’s You Are Not Alone, made in collaboration with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.

AARON NEVILLE is one of pop’s great paradoxes: a tattooed giant with the voice of an angel. The outstanding singer of iconic New Orleans band The Neville Brothers, his delicate and distinctive voice first gained recognition in 1967 with the solo hit ‘Tell It Like It Is’. For much of the 70s and 80s he worked mostly with his siblings as The Neville Brothers, but in 1989 he joined Linda Ronstadt on her Grammy-winning album Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind. Ronstadt went on to produce his 1991 solo set Warm Your Heart, with its top ten single ‘Everybody Plays The Fool’. Relocating to Nashville after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his New Orleans home, Neville has continued to perform widely, with appearances in movies, on television and at major sports events. As well as being a legend of R&B, he has often sung gospel, recently joining with the Mt Zion Mass Choir on a recording of Sam Cooke’s civil rights anthem ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’.

THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA are one of the best-known, longest-serving gospel quartets in the world. Founded in 1939 at the Alabama Institute For The Negro Blind, the three main vocalists of the group are all blind. Initially making their name on the gospel circuit, the Blind Boys hit Broadway in the early 80, performing in the award-winning musical The Gospel At Colonus. In recent years they have recorded and performed with the likes of Ben Harper, Tom Petty, Peter Gabriel and Prince. Their recording of Tom Waits’ ‘Down In The Hole’ was the theme song for the first series of HBO’s The Wire. From 2002 to 2005 the Blind Boys won the Grammy category Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album every year. While original lead vocalist and founder Clarence Fountain now limits his touring due to health reasons, long-time member Jimmy Carter continues to front the group with his powerful and inspired vocals.


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